Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Today's Special - - Jo Robertson
You can learn more about Jo by visiting her website, liking her at Facebook, following her on Twitter and dropping by Romance Bandits where she blogs the 30th of every month.
I know our readers are looking forward to chatting with you so without further ado...
A Rose by Any Other Name
by Jo Robertson
I'm so happy to join the Dishers today, to talk about my debut release, a romantic thriller called THE WATCHER and just to chatter over a cup of tea or a glass of wine! Thanks for having me, PJ!
"The Watcher" (which won the 2006 RWA Golden Heart Award in romantic suspense) is now available at www.createspace.com/3580802 and www.amazon.com (search under Jo Robertson and THE WATCHER).
But if you have an e-reader, be sure to wait for the download available mid-August for only $2.99!
Here's a blurb.
Forensic psychiatrist Kate Myers believes the killer of two teenage girls in Bigler County, California, is the same man who savagely murdered her twin sister nearly twenty years ago.
Deputy Sheriff Ben Slater hides his personal pain behind the job, but Kate's arrival knocks his world on its axis.
Together they must find a killer whose roots began in a small town in Bigler County, but whose violence spread across the nation. A Janus-like killer, more monster than man, fixates on Kate and wants nothing more than to kill her "again."
I've always been fascinated by names. It seems to me that some poor kids get stuck with the most gosh-awful monikers while others' names fit them perfectly.
Notice that both characters' names have three syllables – RO – me – o and JU – li – et. There's a lyricism about them that delights the ear and the mind. Of course, Shakespeare was committed to writing in iambic pentameter, and three-syllable names work best in that meter.
The phrase, however, led me to think about names, of how writers pick among the myriad choices for their characters. A smart writer pays attention to character naming, traits universally associated with the name, and how she could tweak the name to fit her story's purpose.
Most writers, I'm convinced, do this on a deeply subconscious level, leaving the analysis to us English teachers. Others choose consciously and deliberately. Think of the character names in Golding's "Lord of the Flies" – Jack, Ralph, Piggy, Simon, and the lowering, simian-like Roger.
An obviously symbolic name is Eve Dallas from J.D. Robb's In Death series. As a child Eve is found wandering the alleys of Dallas. Since she doesn't speak and no one knows who she is, the hospital staff name her "Eve," fitting for a child beginning a new life. So Eve Dallas remakes herself from a past that she can't even remember. The naming is clearly symbolic and patently obvious – the mother of mankind, the city of her birth.
Male names of one syllable, like Max, Jake, or Rhett, Roarke, Luke, or Rick, have a masculine, very alpha ring to them. They convey decisiveness, dependability and strength. After all, the names have to be melodic and noble if they belong to our heroes.
Sometimes our personal experiences color our feelings about names. I really like the name Samuel (Sam), but when I was in 7th grade a bully named Sammy followed me home from school on a regular basis, threatening to beat up my younger brother if I didn't kiss him. Yuck! I could never name one of my heroes Sam because of my own personal unpleasant associations, even though I adore the name itself.
Honestly, I'd like to time-travel back and tweak that little punk's nose!
I tend to enjoy classic, old-fashioned girls' names, elegant ones like Emma and Olivia, Isabella and Grace. But I also like boyish names for girls if they fit the heroine's character. The heroine of my young adult book BLOOD WARRIORS, seventeen-year-old Sydney Banks, is an awesome athlete, like my granddaughter after whom I named the character. Both the real and the fictional Sydney can't stop moving; they feel alive when their bodies are in motion, at home with the basketball in their hands or the soccer ball at their toes.
The heroine of my second romantic thriller THE AVENGER (due out September 2011) is named Olivia. I like the three syllables of the name, and as a writer, I can tweak how the name is used – romantically or maliciously. Notice how Olivia's stepfather taunts her at the end of this passage from the book's prologue. I hope it's chilling!
She clamped down on her lip and ran her tongue over the coppery taste of blood. Suddenly she felt foolish, a child playing at being a kung fu girl-warrior. Even if she could get a stab in before he overpowered her, she'd only make him madder. She pictured the red puckering of his face and imagined those paws of his cuffing her head. "Smack you up-side the head," he'd bluster in his menacing tone.
What was she thinking? Roger was a burly six-two and outweighed her by more than a hundred and fifty pounds. Did she really imagine she could outmaneuver him? He'd squish her like a bug.
In that instant Livvie made her decision. She retrieved her gym shoes from the closet, tucked the scissors in the waistband of her sweats, and raced to the window. She turned back toward the bedroom door as she heard a series of rat-a-tat-tat knocks and a gravelly voice whispering her name.
"O—liv—ee—uh, O—liv—ee—uh," he taunted her.
What about you? As readers do you pay attention to characters' names? Any favorites? Why? How did you come to choose your children's names or where does your own name come from?
As writers do you settle on a particular name from the get-go, or do you find yourself changing it throughout the story? Do you frontload by contemplating seriously before you put fingers to keyboard?
Inquiring minds want to know!
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I certainly do pay attention to character names, often not for the reasons writers might be happy with. Sometimes they are too similar or pretentious or just don't fit. A good name should not jump out, but be part of the entire reading experience.ReplyDelete
Jo, great to see you here. Waving madly at the Dishes!ReplyDelete
Jo, huge congratulations on the Watcher hitting the streets. I think it sounds fantastic - and that's one seriously creepy/intriguing cover.
Actually naming characters is one of the fun parts of this gig, isn't it? It's interesting - if I've got the wrong name, my characters dig in their heels and won't let me continue until I come up with the right name. For example, Diana in My Reckless Surrender was originally Antonia. And she just wouldn't stand for it (I got an Antonia then in Midnight's Wild Passion where she graciously accepted the name - and it suited her!). In historicals, we have an extra complication because there's usually a title as well as a Christian name and a surname. So I need Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelaw, usually called Ranelaw until he becomes very intimate with someone and they can use his Christian name. I like the significance of a name in that society - you can judge how intimate someone is with someone else just because of what they call them.
Oh, dear, rabbiting on. You clearly touched on one of my fave topics!
Good luck with the Watcher!!!!
Hi, Dishers! Thanks again for having me visit today. You're such gracious hostesses!ReplyDelete
Isn't this a fun place, Anna! It must be afternoon down under, is that right? It's past 10:00 on the left coast and I was heading for bed when I thought I'd better check the blog first. Glad I did!ReplyDelete
Hi, Marybelle! It's good to "see" a familiar "face"!ReplyDelete
You make a good point. If the names seem obvious or forced they just don't work, do they? When you pick up a book to buy, are you often put off from buying it because of the name(s)?
Thanks, Anna. I really do like the cover. I think the Create Space design team did a great job on it. I was tempted to have a half-naked man (it IS a romance after all), but it's supposed to be a little creepy.ReplyDelete
I must have my hero rescue the heroine from the dastardly villain, after all.
Anna said, "I like the significance of a name in that society - you can judge how intimate someone is with someone else just because of what they call them."ReplyDelete
Absolutely! That's one of my favorite things about your historical time period, that distance between familiarity and formality and all the subtext that goes with names and naming.
I love when an unlikeable secondary female character makes the mistake of calling the hero, not by his title, but by his name. Does that make sense? You're so much better at this historical stuff than I am!
Jo, heading for 3:30 in the afternoon here. I'm getting organized to fly away tomorrow at the crack of dawn to the Australian romance conference. Can't wait!ReplyDelete
I'm turning into a pumpkin, so I'm off to bed now. See ya'll in the morning!ReplyDelete
That's right, Anna! Safe travels! I am so envious of you. I know you'll have a great time with the "other" Anna and Christina.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the upcoming release, Jo. I do pay attention to names in books and there are certain ones that for some reason I don't like and it prevents me from enjoying the book.ReplyDelete
Hi Jo, Nice to meet you here and congratulations on your new release!ReplyDelete
It's a long story, but I have a special place in my heart for AP English teachers!
Your books sounds like a thrilling story. A romantic suspense is a great way to beat the heat.
I do pay attention to names. It's important for me that the names suit their perosnalities. It sounds strange but when a name doesn't match them it can be distracting. It should flow with the story line. Most of the time it's never an issue. Their personalities is what will make me fall in love with them.
I am soo excited about the release of The Watcher can't wait to download it as an e book and then read it whoo hoo.
I have read so many books over the years and there have been some really strange names LOl and I often wonder where the author came up with them. But I tend to think that as the story goes on the names really suit the characters so I am happy.
We chose our children's names just from ones we really loved and have always been happy with them we have Rebecca, Joel, Brooke and Kirsty nothing exciting but names we love and our grandchildren's names are great as well Jayden Hayley Corey Jake Caitlyn and Josh
Congrats on the release Jo
That except was very chilling! Congrats on the release of The Watchers. Looking forward to reading it. The hero in my upcoming release is Jake...in my last book the hero was Zack. I don't know how I choose names! Honestly. Maybe I should start doing some research.ReplyDelete
Oops. I meant The Watcher. I've always loved The Watchers by Dean Koontz, so that must have been a subconscious typo.ReplyDelete
Jo, a fun post! Occasionally, a character name outs me off for some reason. Unless that happens, though, I don't pay a lot of attention.ReplyDelete
Some names seem to be very popular. I have a Casey heroine, and I've seen three others. Her hero is Jack, and I've seen oodles of those. Kit, short for Christopher or Christian, used to be popular in historicals, but I haven't seen one in ages.
As a writer, I choose names in part by sound but not always. For historicals, I want names that at least seem correct for the period. Casey wouldn't fit, for example. The heroine of my medieval is Maud, a popular name in the medieval period, but I chose it because it means "battle hardened" which fits her.
I pay attention to character's names as well. Sometimes, I feel as though the name doesn't necessarily fit the character, i.e., Sarah should belong to someone lovely, calm and very feminine. Susan, for instance, could be on the quiet and shy side or more outgoing. However, the name Josephine would be someone truly outgoing. Of course, this is just for female characters. Male characters names run along the same lines. It might be worth it for an author to search for the meaning of a name to see if it coincides with the type of character they are writing about.ReplyDelete
Morning All! Welcome to TRD, Jo! We're so happy to have you visiting with us today to celebrate the release of your debut book!ReplyDelete
Marybelle, I agree! Sometimes the name chosen for a character just doesn't seem to fit for me and it does have a tendency to pull me from the story a bit.ReplyDelete
You said, A good name should not jump out, but be part of the entire reading experience.
Anna, hope you have a fabulous time at the Australian romance conference. Take lots of photos so we can vicariously join in the fun! :)ReplyDelete
Oh, and I have to agree with Anna on your cover, Jo. Seriously creepy! *grin*ReplyDelete
Na said, Most of the time it's never an issue. Their personalities is what will make me fall in love with them.ReplyDelete
Same with me but I can sometimes find a name distracting, especially if it's one I can't pronounce. ;-)
fsbuchler said, It's a long story, but I have a special place in my heart for AP English teachers!ReplyDelete
I love hearing stories about teachers who have had a positive impact on our lives!
Helen said, I have read so many books over the years and there have been some really strange names LOl and I often wonder where the author came up with them. But I tend to think that as the story goes on the names really suit the characters so I am happy.ReplyDelete
That's happened to me in real life a few times as well. I've always named my dogs but my latest adoption had already been named by someone at the rescue org and had been trained using that name. Rachel seemed like a ridiculous name for a big Rottie/Lab mix but after living with her for two years and getting to know her personality I can't imagine her being named anything else!
Carol Ann said, That except was very chilling!ReplyDelete
Wasn't it? I have the feeling I'll be spending a lot of time looking over my shoulder as I'm reading Jo's books!
Hi, Jane, thanks for stopping by! Any name in particular that stops you dead in your tracks?ReplyDelete
Thanks, Fsbuchler! Now I MUST hear your AP story! Share.ReplyDelete
I have a special place in my heart for all those students who crossed my threshhold. Amazing people, always kept me on my toes!
Hi Nancy! (waving)ReplyDelete
I'm always fascinated by how writers choose the names of their characters. I love that you chose "Maud" because it fit her and not just the time period.
Okay, I think I'm awake, but not quite sure (reaching for mug of coffee and suddenly remembering I don't DRINK coffee --- Arrgggghhh!)ReplyDelete
Okay, a bit of banana will tide me over.
Here's a funny story about bananas in my house. My darling husband eats one every morning, but he doesn't eat the ENTIRE banana.
There's always a smigden left behind. Sometimes it's a good chunk, but like this morning, it's often about an inch long.
Ah, the joys of marriage!
Okay, have banana, will continue.
LOL @ your hubby, Jo! Isn't that funny? I'm always fascinated by the number of people who won't take the last bit of something. Like at dinner, when someone almost empties a serving bowl but leaves one or two beans, peas, etc. behind. Are you really so full that you can't eat one more bean?ReplyDelete
Hi, Na, thanks for stopping by.ReplyDelete
You said, "It's important for me that the names suit their perosnalities."
I couldn't agree more; sometimes it's just an instinctive thing. Like FoAnna said our characters won't let us continue with their stories if we name them wrong!
Hi, Helen, your grands just put a big smile on my face whenever I see their photo!ReplyDelete
I love all those names you mentioned. It's funny how children and characters seem to "grow" into their names, isn't it?
I love Jayden's name.
Carol Ann said, "I don't know how I choose names! Honestly. Maybe I should start doing some research."ReplyDelete
LOL, Carol. It's likely your subconscious being smart. I love Jake (have a grandson named Jake) and Zach. Very alpha-sounding.
LOL, on The Watchers. I'd heard some unknown fella named Koontz had stolen my title, VBG!
Helen, meant to say I'm hoping the download will be available this week. Fingers crossed!ReplyDelete
Nancy said, "As a writer, I choose names in part by sound but not always. For historicals, I want names that at least seem correct for the period."ReplyDelete
For sure! (channeling valley girl). When I taught Shakespeare, I always included a bit about Christopher Marlowe and had a lot of fun calling him Kit Marlowe! Not sure how accurate that was in the 1500's, but it's fun to pretend.
Good old Kit Marlowe gets knifed in a bar fight. But is he REALLY dead or is he off in France secretly writing Will's plays?
JK, of course, but it's fun to speculate. And kids love that kind of pretend-intrigue.
Hi, Connie, good point.ReplyDelete
You said, "It might be worth it for an author to search for the meaning of a name to see if it coincides with the type of character they are writing about."
I wonder how many authors do name searches like this. I haven't, but sometimes I know the meanings, like Corazon means "heart" in Spanish.
My third book in the series of which "The Watcher" is the first has the heroine named Isabella. I love the way that name rolls off the tongue, especially when the hero is whispering the name while he's . . . well, you get the idea.
Thanks for having me today, P.J. This is such a great place to visit. I know some of our Romance Bandits are regular bloggers here too -- Trish and Anna.ReplyDelete
Jo, will you share the story of how your AP students conned you into writing The Watcher? I'd love to hear how that came about! :)ReplyDelete
I absolutely love your cover, Jo, and wish you the best of luck with the book.ReplyDelete
Naming is one thing I still feel confounded about. Thanks for writing about it.
Marybelle and P.J., when I was reading Lisa Kleypas' "Devil in Winter," I had a hard time with the hero Sabastian. The name sounded so wicked, and Kleypas had set up his character in a previous book to be dangerously wicked!ReplyDelete
But as I read further and the character changed, I came to love the name (and him)!
Thanks, PJ, on the cover compliments. I keep reminding readers, however, that it's a romance, so there's plenty of romantic angst while Slater and Kate are tracking down this serial killer.ReplyDelete
PJ said, "I can sometimes find a name distracting, especially if it's one I can't pronounce. ;-)"ReplyDelete
OMG, isn't that true!! I hadn't been acquainted with George R.R. Martin until HBO made the amazingly wonderful series this summer -- Game of Thrones. Now that I'm reading the series, I find myself stumbling over the pronunciations of the names.
This is actually the first fantasy that I've really gotten seriously into. What a brilliant world-maker Martin is.
Has anyone else read the books or seen the HBO production?
PJ said, "Rachel seemed like a ridiculous name for a big Rottie/Lab mix but after living with her for two years and getting to know her personality I can't imagine her being named anything else!"ReplyDelete
That's hilarious. I've never heard of a dog, yet alone that mix, named Rachel. It's so disconcerting LOL. Is she a gentle sort? I imagine a Rachel being very calm, maybe a bit prissy.
PJ said, "I'm always fascinated by the number of people who won't take the last bit of something."ReplyDelete
I KNOW!! Isn't that just plain weird. Boyd does that all the time. We had a bit of spaghetti left over and he ate all but about a 1/4 cup. What??!! That's not enough for the next person.
I wish his mom were still alive so I could ask her how she got him to do that. It's always the mum's fault you know. JK!
Very gentle, Jo. She's 70 pounds of adoring love who is happiest snuggled on the couch/bed/chair with me or getting her tummy rubbed by anybody in the vicinity. My 5-year-old grandniece slept over recently. In my big old king size bed, the GN was on one side, I was on the other and Rachel was stretched out in the middle with her head snuggled into her very own pillow.ReplyDelete
Jenny!!! Hi, it's so good to "see" you here. Jenny and I are both on the crimescene loop that Wally Lind has -- very interesting stuff over there, BTW.ReplyDelete
BIG, BIG coincidence, Jenny. I just read your bio and learned you're from northern New Jersey.
My middle daughter Kennan JUST left for -- wait -- you got it -- JERSEY CITY! Her husband's going to teach at St. Peter's College. Kennan has a degree in psychology too, but just a bachelor's.
Please tell me she'll have a place to park her van. And that she won't get mugged on the subway.
Can you tell I'm a total California gal?
PJ said, "Jo, will you share the story of how your AP students conned you into writing The Watcher? I'd love to hear how that came about! :)"ReplyDelete
It's not as interesting as being hijacked in Guatemala or having a bomb go off next door in Jerusalem (fodder for another day LOL), P.J.
You know how teenagers are always wanting to write "stories," but their teachers make the write essays (exposition) instead? One day, I confessed that I always wanted to write stories too.
After I'd mentioned this several times, my AP students called me on it. It was, like, shut up or put up. And I thought, why not?
Yikes, little did I know what I was getting myself into!
Ah, that's so sweet, P.J. Then Rachel IS a perfect name for her!ReplyDelete
Wow, you Dishers are a busy lot!ReplyDelete
I'm off to groan and sweat on my treadmill. Double ugh!
Hi Jo - Great to see you here!ReplyDelete
I love it when a character name suits a character. I think it's a gift some writers have...I wish I did (grin). I know I go though several names until one clicks for the main characters. I should do that for the minor characters because they often become a major character in the next book - but, alas, I don't think that far ahead. In Redeeming the Rogue, Rafferty - that three syllable combination - just rang true for the character. Same thing with Phineas - that one suits to a tee. Maybe I should just stick with three syllable names for heroes (grin).
Jo Beverly did a workshop on names once where she made up nonsense names and asked readers to votes on which combination sounded more "heroic." Her conclusion was that the hard consonant sounds worked best.
Not sure what makes some names suit better than others - but if you could...could you send some of that name mojo in my direction? (grin)
(Aunty waves at her fabulous CP!)
Ah names are a favorite subject of mine! As you know, my characters usually appear with their first, middle, and last names in place. Don't know how or why, it just happens that way. I guess my most unusual name thus far is my hero from Treasures of Venice --Keirnan. Again, he walked into my imagination with that name, no idea where it came from. :-)
Names in novels are VERY important! After all, I named my son after a character in Mary Stewart's The Moonspinners.
My own weirdly spelled name was a compromise between my parents. (sigh)
Donna said, "In Redeeming the Rogue, Rafferty - that three syllable combination - just rang true for the character. Same thing with Phineas - that one suits to a tee."ReplyDelete
I adore the name Rafferty, suits that character perfectly, Donna. And Phineas, well, it's great for the RTR and the role he plays. It'll be interesting to see how Phineas evolves as he has his own character.
Are you going to use Finney as a nickname? Reminds me of A SEPARATE PEACE.
Hey, Cindy, critique partner extraordinnaire! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyDelete
Your characters' names are unique and very Irish LOL! I love Kiernan and I think it's amazing how the names just "come" to you, sometimes in a dream.
I want that!
I usually pick names carefully for my characters. I usually pick something I like the sound of, then I look for the name meaning, because I think your name meaning (like your astrology sign) says a lot about you.ReplyDelete
My real name is France Marie. Frances means "Free" and one meaning of "Marie" means "Rebellious"--free and rebellious--that screams pirate, doesn't it?
My parents picked it--when I brow beated them about it--because two of my grandmothers were named "Sarah Frances"--though I could never figure out why they picked Frances over Sarah. *sighs* People.
But if I'd been named Sarah, I would have had too normal a name, would have been way too well-adjusted, and never became a writer. Think of all the loss that would have done me.
Hi, Jo! It's so wonderful to have you here, today!ReplyDelete
I do pay attention to character names. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes one just won't "fit". One of my favorite character names: Roarke. *sigh* Let's be honest, he's one of my favorite characters EVAH! ;-)
My kids all have at least one name that's a family name---in the case of our oldest, both of his are. :-)
Can't wait to readThe Watcher.
I personally choose a name that is easy to type over and over and over again. Hee hee! Is that a deep enough reason to choose a name? Nina is my favorite. Four letters and easy on the fingers. Annie is another. Max is short and easy too. I would never choose Genevieve or Nicholaus or anything that I had to concentrate too hard on the spelling. LOL! Actually I am not even a writer so really I am talking about my own kids' names (Corinna gets shortened to Nina cuz spellcheck doesn't mistreat it and Annalise is shortened to Annie cuz it's quick. Max is just Max. :) And becasue I write and text about them a lot that is my reasonaing for choosing those names. YES... I actually DID type them and write them by hand frequently before offically naming them.ReplyDelete
I have already read Jo's book "The Watcher" and I truly enjoyed it. It is very clever and her use of forensic knowledge and just her basic understanding of the psychotic mind is fantastic! The serial killer is downright creepy. Congratulations Jo!!ReplyDelete
Hey JO! Late to the party, sorry! Grins.ReplyDelete
I didn't get to read through all the comments, so I"m sorry if I'm echoing someone else's pet peeve. Grins.
I think the hardest thing on earth is naming children. They're pretty much stuck with what you give them, and thanks to kids being smart and mean, you have to even be careful about what their initials spell. *eye roll*
Characters are both easier and harder, don't you think? If you get to the end of a few chapters and the name just isn't quite getting the job done? Find/Replace - instant new name. Ha!
That said, I do spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to name characters...maybe I'm obsessive...hmmmm....
Hi Jo, so sorry I'm late! Hi Dishers! Thanks for having Jo on today.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the release of THE WATCHER! I am so looking forward to reading it. That excerpt certainly was chilling, especially with the gravelly voice whispering through the door. *Shivers*
I love your explanation of how we choose names--I'm sure it's the same for writers as it is for parents choosing a name for their child. Until I find a name that fits, I can't keep writing. I have the devil of a time with titles for my heroes because I try to use English place names... but then so does every other Regency author! It is difficult to get one that sounds unique.
I picked my daughter's name because I fell in love with it when I heard it ..her name is Angelique and no its not after the witch on Dark Shadows, altho the actress that played her was very pretty.ReplyDelete
Sometimes names sound outdated to me ie emma when I hear that name I think of an older woman that I knew that owned a cleaners but I know the name is used a lot... In books I like irish names I think they are interesting.... and I like to look up names and see what they mean.
Jo, I love character names. I do spend a lot of time playing with them in the first few pages of a book -but once they are named, thats who they are (once it's decided, it has to stay. Otherwise, its like trying to rename your kid when they are 4 It just won't work)ReplyDelete
I think names can definitely create an impression. And the impression is a strong writing tool. Either the character fits the name and it flows easily for the reader. Or they don't fit the name, which can be a strong tool to create conflict.
I love the sound of The Watcher and can't wait to read it :-) YAY and congrats on your awesome debut!!!
Hey, Jo! So happy that we're going to get to read The Watcher. I still remember when this won the GH. Very exciting.ReplyDelete
I have to have the right names for characters before I even start writing. And I have to know what they look like.
As it happens, the book I'm writing now (a Nocturne) has a heroine named Olivia. I love that name.
Jo, Are you an FB? If so I'll message you the back story on AP English teachers.ReplyDelete
Yes, Fsbuchler, I'm on FB.ReplyDelete
Dying to hear that story!
Tawny wrote, "I have to have the right names for characters before I even start writing. And I have to know what they look like."ReplyDelete
I really admire that discipline. Mine often come to me as I write. Don't know why.
Yes, Olivia is a lovely name. My granddaughter's named Grace Olivia!
Duh! I misread that! Trish, not Tawny!ReplyDelete
Tawny, OTOH, said, "(once it's decided, it has to stay. Otherwise, its like trying to rename your kid when they are 4 It just won't work)"
LOL, similar sentiments and so true! I "changed my name when I went away to college (actually just reverted to using my middle name "Jo" instead of my first name. It was quite traumatic, but it finally stuck!
Yes, Tawny, I like that duality of a character's name. How you can twist it to your purpose as a writer.ReplyDelete
We're kinda sneaky, aren't we?
Deerdoe69 said, "emma when I hear that name I think of an older woman that I knew that owned a cleaners"ReplyDelete
ROTFLOL at that comment. Associations are powerful, aren't they?
Christina! Thanks for stopping by. I didn't expect you to since I know all your "men" are sick, as well as YOU!ReplyDelete
You said, "It is difficult to get one that sounds unique."
I think that's especially true of Regency. You don't want to sound "modern," but there are only so many names and so many Regency writers.
Hi, Jeanne! Good to "see" you.ReplyDelete
You said, "Characters are both easier and harder, don't you think? If you get to the end of a few chapters and the name just isn't quite getting the job done? Find/Replace - instant new name. Ha!"
I love that feature. I'm like you. I stick with the name I decided on after a modicum of thinking (tee hee) and if it doesn't work, I switch it out. Sometimes I miss one or two, though.
My daughter Megan, who's copy editing my second book told me it had too many "eff" words. I did a search and it had 55!!!! I felt like I needed to see a priest.
So now I'm doing a selective use of the word. I always told my students to use those "strong" words sparingly or they lose their effect. Imagine if they heard ME, their teacher, say that?? Words are very powerful.
So I'm trying to heed my own advice LOL.
Thanks, Shannon, for such high prasie! And thanks for stopping by.ReplyDelete
Shannon said, "I personally choose a name that is easy to type over and over and over again. Hee hee! Is that a deep enough reason to choose a name?"ReplyDelete
LOL at that comment! Clearly your writing consists of emails about your children! I have to admit that I lurve those names.
HI Gannon! (waving madly). I'm so glad to be here today. I love your idea of children having a family name. Do you use last or first names or a combo?ReplyDelete
You said, "One of my favorite character names: Roarke. *sigh* Let's be honest, he's one of my favorite characters EVAH! ;-)"
Okay, I cannot stop drooling over Roarke. I'm totally with you on him. In fact, I'm sure he's "alive" somewhere just waiting for me to leave my husband and run away with him after he dumps Eve.
Oh, wait, she'd scratch my eyes out. Better rethink.
Oh, MsHellion that name soooo screams you!ReplyDelete
You said, "My real name is France Marie. Frances means "Free" and one meaning of "Marie" means "Rebellious"--free and rebellious--"
I don't think I knew your name was Frances; you'll always be Hellion to me!
Oh, yeah, being well adjusted is highly overrated (VBG)!
I just got back from a Walmart run (shudder, shudder) and I swear they have NO air conditioning in that store. It surely can't be hormones, right?ReplyDelete
So I'm going to have either a hot fudge sundae or a little lie down.
Hmmm, which one?? What a dilemma!
Late Kate as always, but I made it! Hi PJ! Hello, Dishes!!ReplyDelete
Jo, what a thrill it is to finally get a chance to read this book! I can't wait to download it in a week or so.
Your post talks about something that's very important to me. I'm always worrying about names. I think they're a key part of the character and I agree that the rhythm of the name is important, as well. Just recently, I had to change one character's name several times before it fit him. In fact, the back cover copy had already been written and I suddenly realized what his name had to be! I wrote my editor in a panic to make her change it! Ack!
And I'm still shivering from that excerpt. Wow. Can't wait to read that one, too!
Jo, just stopped by again to congratulate you on THE WATCHER. How fascinating your topic is today. I hadn't thought about it at all. You should do a name analysis. My protag in my soon to be released book is named Joe. I got it from a song. :) But I definitely meant him to be alpha, because he is. My character in my 2010 GH final is named Kevin. I wanted him to be a cross between a alpha and a beta and he's definitely got a soft spot. But I did it intrinsically. I had no basis in choosing the names, I'd just noticed that one syllable men seemed to be tougher. Does that make sense? Again, huge congratulations. Readers are in for a thrill.ReplyDelete
Oh! Oh! The hot fudge! Definitely!ReplyDelete
Jo, thanks so much for visiting with us today. It's been a blast! Hope you're off somewhere enjoying that hot fudge sundae. Or the nap. Either one works! :)ReplyDelete
Best of luck with The Watcher. Can't wait to read it!
As for my name, I was named after my father's cousin who was a nun. They probably hoped it would help, too bad they were wrong.ReplyDelete
We had picked the name for our oldest daughter, but didn't get to use it. Not sure where the Rebecca came from, guess we just liked it. For her middle name I had chosen Fairlight from a character in catherine Marshall's CHRISTY. The nurse told us we couldn't use it because it was too long with our last name and wouldn't fit on the form. I pulled another name out of the air that we never considered. I have thought of so many better middle names since.
Our second daughter is Erin Corinne. Both names come from the TV series THE WALTONS. Erin was one of the daughters. In one episode there was a sweet old lady with a pony cart. Her name was Martha Corinne. I wasn't fond of Martha, but Corinne worked fine.
Our son was easy. I had always liked Mark and Matthew. My brother's son was born first and he used Mark, so Matthew it was. Walter, the middle name is my husband's father's name. They work well together.
Thanks for an interesting post. Best of luck with the release of your books.
Hi, Late Kate! Thanks for swinging by!ReplyDelete
You said, "Just recently, I had to change one character's name several times before it fit him. In fact, the back cover copy had already been written and I suddenly realized what his name had to be!"
Oh no, don't you wish that inspiration had come a wee bit earlier?
PJ, I decided I deserved BOTH -- the nap AND the hot fudge!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for being such a gracious host today. I had a great time with the Dishers!
Librarypat said, "The nurse told us we couldn't use it because it was too long with our last name and wouldn't fit on the form."ReplyDelete
Oh, no! What a shame. I can't believe the nurse said that! But it looks like you ended up with some great family names.
Hi, Donnell, good to see you here!ReplyDelete
You said, "I wanted him to be a cross between a alpha and a beta and he's definitely got a soft spot. But I did it intrinsically."
Actually, don't you think most writers do this intuitively? I just like to analyze things after the fact LOL. Must be the teacher in me :-D.
And, of course, I love the name "Joe."
BTW, the name on my birth certificate is spelled "Joe" too. I often wonder if that's a mistake that will come back to haunt me.
Hi Dishes and Jo, this was a terrific blog! Enjoyed all the questions and anwsersReplyDelete
P.S. Re: Names I dislike the unpronounceable names and when an author uses too many similar sounding names within the same novel (alliteration intended.) All that alliteration can get confusing! You need a list to keep all the players straight!